Qalaat al Nejem (Nejem Castle)
The small village of Membij, which is situated 80 Km to the
northeast of Aleppo,
has many Roman and Byzantine monuments. The main one however is
Qalaat al Nejem, or Nejem castle which is 110 Km to the east of Aleppo.
This fortress, which originally dates back to the Romans, was
called Caeciliana, and was used as an assembly point for most of the
troops who were campaigning against the Sassanians.
The remains of the castle today date back to the Arab period. In
the 13th century it was rebuilt by Nur al Din and then al Malik al
Zaher Ghazi the son of Saladin. However, by the 14th century Qalaat
Nejem was abandoned due to the Mongol invasions.
Qalaat al Nejem is purely Arabic in feature and is situated on a
natural hill on the right bank of the Euphrates River. There are
several underground rooms which are covered by a two-floor castle.
Vestiges in the castle include a small palace with a courtyard in
the center of it, which is surrounded by Iwans